Monday, November 10, 2008

Two stupid signs for your enjoyment

If you've followed this blog for long, you know I don't often post about the local business scene here in Boise. In fact, this is the first time. But yesterday I saw two pieces of signage so incomprehensibly stupid, it just had to be shared with everyone.


Let's start with the worst offender first. This new business manages to combine one of the English language's worst adjectives (pasty), with one of the world's greatest treasures (pies), and ties it all up by adding "fresh" to the mix. My first thought was: My God, did they actually mis-spell "pastry"? But that didn't make much sense, because "pastry pie" is so unnaturally redundant (along the lines of "alcohol beer"). I investigated further, and saw that the menu on the wall has only three items: Pasty Pie, Salad and Pop. What, no dessert?

Further research revealed a "pasty pie" to be a staple cuisine of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, a meat pie of sorts. Beyond the fact that Boise was never clamoring for the culinary delicacies of Northern Michigan, there's the reality that this restaurant has "pasty" in its name. Outside of certain parts of Michigan, this word does not inspire an appetite, and most people would like to go their whole life without having to associate "pasty" with anything food-related. I will add that the previous tenant of this space was a take-and-bake pizza joint, and if that business didn't last a year I'm only giving Fresh Pasty Pies a couple months.

Most people won't be annoyed by this one, but I'm still shaking my head. I knew Hollywood Video was having its troubles, but Mark's Video? That would be a bland name in 1985, when every other video store was called "Video Mania" or "Video Chest." There's no Wikipedia page for Mark's Video, and no Web site either. All I could find was this article detailing how 20 Hollywood Video stores will be re-branded, as part of a settlement between Movie Gallery and Mark Whattler, Hollywood Video's founder and former owner. Apparently, Whattler was behind in this re-branding effort:

Wattles, who is squabbling with Movie Gallery over the reasonable amount of time it takes to switch branding for the 20 stores, said he had planned to move Hollywood Video and Game Crazy away from movie rental and toward videogame rental before he sold the chains to Movie Gallery, according to the report.
Honestly, how much time does he need to tie a sign over the Hollywood Video logo?

10 comments:

Paul Arrand Rodgers said...

I think the pasty is a mid Michigan thing. Albie's is the big maker of the things, and they are delicious. The "pie" is redundant though. It's just "pasty."

Peter Nellhaus said...

I prefer the pasty that is sometimes part of a stripper's costume. Of course, if it's edible, that's certainly a bonus.

Adam Ross said...

Paul -- Good to know. Further evidence they should have named it "Meaty Mitten State Yum Yums."

Peter -- Agreed, and it always helps if they're "fresh"

Thom said...

Think of a pasty as a pot pie w/o the gravy or the pie plate. I just made one last week and *burp* they can be tasty. Give 'em a try, Adam. Still, the "pie" is redundant--as is my mention of that since Paul already did.

btw, what is Boise's contribution to world cuisine?

Adam Ross said...

OK, I'm convinced -- I gotta try one of these pasties (note I did not call them "pasty pies").

Thom -- good question, if there was a gun to my head I would say steak fingers. There's plenty of restaurants that advertise the city's best steak fingers, and Boise's newspaper recently had a contest for the best recipe. It's basically battered strips of steak deep fried. They're OK.

Truth be told Boise is not a "foodie" city like Portland at all. Boise's best four restaurant's all closed in the last year, and none of them would have ever registered on the radar in Portland.

Anonymous said...

The addition of the word "pie" helps provincial types realize food is being sold inside. Pasties are popular in Michigan's U.P., Wales, and Butte--which is where these restaurateurs hail from. (Competing aunties and gradmas all clamored for THEIR recipe to be used.) Had one tonight, and they are fabulous!

A S H L E Y said...

I have never heard of pasty pies or steak fingers before, I wish there was a larger explanation of these foods. "Regional" cuisine can be pretty funny.

birdeeb said...

I actually went into the Pasty Pie and the lady made a joke about how "pasties" are what women use as a sex toy!!! I was SHOCKED haha! Made it funny. I might actually eat there...sounds kinda good. Does anyone know their phone #? And yeah I was shocked about the Hollywood Video becoming Mark's Video. Thought it was a really lame name too. Nice blog ;o)

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